28 June 2015

Unicode version of programs to integrate Stata and external text editors

I am pleased to announce a new version of the rundo and rundolines programs for integrating Stata with an external text editor. Version 5.0 of rundo and rundolines supports Unicode and is fully compatible with Stata 14, released in April 2015. Support for Unicode was one of the new features of Stata 14. The user guide for the rundo and rundolines programs has also been revised.

With this announcement I am withdrawing version 4.2 of rundo and rundolines, which I had released in April 2015. Version 4.2 could be used with Stata 14 but did not support Unicode. Users of Stata 14 should install rundo or rundolines version 5.0. Users of Stata 13.1 and older versions of Stata should install rundo or rundolines version 4.1 from December 2013. All versions are available on the page dedicated to rundo and rundolines.

Stata/SE 14.0 program window
Stata/SE 14.0 program window

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Friedrich Huebler, 28 June 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/06/stata.html

31 May 2015

Mean years of schooling in Nepal

On 25 April 2015, Nepal was struck by a severe earthquake that killed more than 8,800 people. Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries, with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of US$730 in 2013, similar to Afghanistan and Burkina Faso. Of 187 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) 2014, Nepal was at position 145.

The rank of Nepal on the HDI is partly determined by the low level of education of its population. According to the Human Development Report 2014, the population 25 years and older of Nepal had on average 3.2 years of schooling in 2012.

This article takes a closer look at the level of education of the population of Nepal, based on an analysis of data from a 2011 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). The DHS collected information on the highest grade of school completed for all household members 3 years and older, which can be used to calculate the years of schooling of individuals and the average years of schooling of the entire population or specific sub-groups. According to the DHS data, the population 25 years and older in Nepal has on average 3.3 years of schooling (Figure 1). The duration of primary education in Nepal is 5 years, which means that the average adult 25 years and older has less than completed primary education.

Urban residents have nearly twice as many years of schooling as rural residents, with 5.7 and 2.9 years respectively. There is a strong correlation between mean years of schooling and household wealth. Persons 25 years and older from the poorest household quintile have only 1.1 years of schooling on average, compared to 6.6 years in the richest quintile.

Figure 1: Mean years of schooling, population 25 years and older, Nepal 2011

Data source: Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, 2011.

Figure 1 also presents data for the development regions and ecological zones of Nepal. The country is administratively divided into five development regions (Far-Western, Mid-Western, Western, Central, and Eastern), 14 administrative zones, and 75 districts. The country is also divided into three ecological zones: Mountain, Hills and Terai. The development regions and ecological zones are shown in Figure 2. The epicenter of the April 2015 earthquake was in the Lamjung district in the Western development region. The capital Kathmandu, which was also severely affected by the earthquake, is in the Central development region.

The population in the Far-Western and Western development regions has 2.6 mean years of schooling, below the national average of 3.3 years. The population of the Western, Central and Eastern development regions is at or slightly above the national average. Residents of the Mountain zone have on average 2.2 years of schooling, while those in the Hill and Terai zone have 3.5 and 3.3 years, respectively.

Gender disparity in educational attainment affects all regions and sub-groups of the population in Figure 1. At the national level, women 25 years and older have only 2.2 years of schooling on average, compared to 4.6 years among men. There is a large gap between the mean years of schooling of men and women in both rural and urban areas of Nepal. Women from the poorest household quintile have only 0.5 mean years of schooling, less than any other group in Figure 1; men in the poorest quintile have 1.9 years of schooling. In the richest quintile, women have on average 6.2 years of schooling, compared to 8.1 years for men. Gender disparity is also present in all development regions and ecological zones.

Figure 2: Development regions, districts, and ecological zones of Nepal

Source: United Nations Nepal Information Platform, retrieved May 2015.

A comparison of different age groups reveals that in spite of the low average years of schooling Nepal has made impressive progress over the past decades. Younger cohorts have without exception more years of schooling than older cohorts (Figure 3). 20- to 24-year-olds have on average 6.9 years of schooling, compared to less than 1 year of schooling among those 65 years and older. In rural areas those 20-24 years old have on average 6.5 years of schooling and those in urban areas 8.5 years. The poorest residents of Nepal are still very much behind those from wealthier segments of the population but even here there has been an improvement among younger generations. 20- to 24-year-olds from the poorest quintile have on average 3.6 years of schooling. In the richest quintile, those aged 20-24 years have 9.6 years of schooling on average, more than any other group in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Mean years of schooling by age group, Nepal 2011

Data source: Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, 2011.

The disparity between women and men in younger cohorts is also far smaller than among older cohorts. Figure 4 shows two indicators of gender disparity. The difference between the mean years of schooling of men and women is plotted against the left vertical axis. Nationwide, 20- to 24-year-old women have on average 1.9 fewer years of schooling than men in the same age group.The biggest absolute gap is observed in the poorest household quintile; here, women 20-24 years have on average 2.8 fewer years of schooling than men. The smallest difference between male and female years of schooling, 0.7 years, is observed among 20- to 24-year-olds in the richest quintile.

A second indicator of gender disparity, female mean years of schooling as a percentage of male mean years of schooling, is plotted against the right vertical axis of Figure 4. At gender parity, this value is around 100%. In all groups in Figure 4, younger women are approaching the average years of schooling of men in the same age group. In Nepal as a whole, 20- to 24-year-old women have on average 76% of the years of schooling of their male peers. In the richest quintile, the youngest women have reached 93% of the years of schooling of men in the same age group. By contrast, young women from the poorest household quintile have only half the years of schooling of young men.

Over time, the increasing educational attainment among younger age groups will be reflected in the mean years of schooling of the entire population 25 years and older. Similarly, the gap between men and women will shrink. However, those in poor households and residents of certain regions - especially the Far-Western and Mid-Western region and the mountain zone - are lagging behind other parts of Nepal.

Figure 4: Gender disparity in mean years of schooling by age group, Nepal 2011

Data source: Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, 2011.

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Friedrich Huebler, 31 May 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/05/nepal.html

25 April 2015

EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015

The Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2015 was published by UNESCO on 9 April 2015. The title of this year's edition of the EFA GMR is Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges”.

2015 is the target year for the six Education for All goals, as well as the eight Millennium Development Goals. The GMR takes stock of progress since 2000 and points out that in spite of substantial improvement in all areas of education many countries are likely to miss one or more of the EFA goals. The reference year for the report is 2012, the most recent year with data for most countries and regions at the time the report was prepared, but the GMR also makes some use of projections.

  • Goal 1: Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children: 47% of countries reached the goal but 20% of countries are very far from the goal.
  • Goal 2: Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to, and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality: 52% of countries achieved this goal, 38% of countries are far from the goal.
  • Goal 3: Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes: 47% of countries have reached universal lower secondary enrolment.
  • Goal 4: Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults: Only 25% of countries reached this goal, 32% of countries are very far from the goal.
  • Goal 5: Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality: The GMR estimates that 69% of countries will achieve gender parity in primary education by 2015, and 48% of countries will reach the goal in secondary education.
  • Goal 6: Improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills: The pupil-teacher ratio fell in 121 of 146 countries between 1990 and 2012 but there are still not enough teachers for all children in and out of school.

The GMR also presents important lessons for international goals in the area of education for the post-2015 period.

Reference

  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 2015. Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges - EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015. Paris: UNESCO. Download in PDF format (6.8 MB).

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Friedrich Huebler, 25 April 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/04/gmr.html

18 April 2015

Updated programs and guide to integrating Stata and external text editors

The rundo and rundolines programs for integrating Stata with an external text editor were updated to version 4.2. The programs are now compatible with Stata 14, released in April 2015. The user guide for the rundo and rundolines programs was also revised.

Stata/SE 14.0 program window
Stata/SE 14.0 program window

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Friedrich Huebler, 18 April 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/04/stata.html

31 January 2015

Global report on out-of-school children

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and UNICEF have jointly published a new report, Fixing the Broken Promise of Education for All: Findings from the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children. The report, launched at the Education World Forum in London on 19 January 2015, presents the latest global statistics on out-of-school children, examines the barriers faced by marginalized groups and proposes policy solutions, and estimates the cost of universal basic education.

The report draws attention to the fact that the world will miss the Education for All goal and Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015. 58 million children of primary school age (typically 6 to 11 years) and 63 million adolescents of lower secondary school age (typically 12 to 15 years) are still out of school and many of them will never set foot in a classroom. Although the numbers of out-of-school children and adolescents are similar, in relative terms lower-secondary-age adolescents are twice as likely to be out of school as primary-age children, with out-of-school rates of 17% and 9% respectively.

The report draws on findings from the joint UIS-UNICEF Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children (OOSCI). This initiative began in 2010 and has led to the publication of a series of national and regional studies on out-of-school children. OOSCI, which is also supported by the Global Partnership for Education and Understanding Children's Work, has three overarching goals:

  1. Develop comprehensive profiles of excluded children using consistent and innovative statistical methods.
  2. Link these profiles to the barriers that lead to exclusion.
  3. Identify, promote and implement sound policies that address exclusion.

To accompany the publication of the global report, the UIS released an interactive data visualization that illustrates the multiple and overlapping causes of exclusion from education with household survey data from more than 20 countries.

Screenshot of UIS data visualization on out-of-school children

Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Reference

  • UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 2015. Fixing the Broken Promise of Education for All: Findings from the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children. Montreal: UIS. Download in PDF format (6.4 MB).

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Friedrich Huebler, 31 January 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/01/oosc.html